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Deregulation Smoke and Mirrors



Superscape Wireless i3D

Interactive 3D

Interactive 3D (i3D) is a system of 3D graphical objects that can be manipulated by the user. Specific capabilities vary from application to application, but the minimum feature is usually the ability of a user to rotate the objects along all three axes. This could be controlled with a mouse cursor or other inputs. Other capabilities can include the option to zoom in on any aspect of the 3D object.

One application could be online catalog sales, which would allow a customer to virtually "handle" the object while shopping, and see the details often missing from standard 2-D images. Other possible applications include building immersive 3D environments for games, or to simulate real environments for navigation programs. A more simple application would be the production of 3D effects for Web design. In all cases the user has interactivity with the graphical objects, and the features associated with them.

Superscape SeV and SWERVE

The Superscape e-Visualizer (SeV) is a technology for the wired Internet, optimized to provide these effects with very small file sizes to minimize download time. Superscape's white paper on the technology cites "downloading raw data describing objects and behaviors within the 3D scene" as the key to small file sizes, since the raw data is a much smaller file size than a succession of images. Essentially, the image is built from a hierarchical series of descriptions, rather than from data gathered by traditional means, such as a camera. One example is "Bones," a technology for animating objects by using deformable skeletons within them.

The technology runs on the local processor, optimizing the graphics speed and reducing the load on the server side. However, the numerous differences in graphics cards and systems can create slight discrepancies in how the data is displayed. For those who are adamant about universally accurate representation, a software rendering engine ensures the images are displayed exactly the same from platform to platform. This results, however, in slower processing than using the DirectX hardware renderer.

Superscape's SWERVE technology, the basis of their partnership with portable RISC chip maker ARM, is a variant of SeV for the wireless environment. Like SeV, it is "packet-friendly," according to the white paper, capable of streaming content using standard protocols such as TCP/IP.

Since i3D capability is worth nothing if there is nothing to look at or manipulate, Superscape has designed a content authoring tool that is "generic in nature," according to the white paper, rather than a more proprietary system. This eases the learning curve and allows developers to make maximum use of the tool without a lot of training time. SeV and SWERVE also have extensive compatibility with industry standards such as Java, which can be used to code user interactions and behaviors in the scene.


More info:


Superscape SWERVE White Paper (PDF):


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Page updated 1/24/07
Copyright 4th Wave Inc, 2007